Saturday, April 01, 2017

March 2017 Reads

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March has come in like a lion and is going out like a lion! It has been a full month as we are about one week away from winding up our Classical Conversations work for the little folk in this house. (N1 still has about a month left of her Challenge A class). Thus, it has been a light month for personal reading around here. We did just come off of a week of spring break, but there wasn't much downtime for reading as I was on a decluttering mission, as you do when the weather starts to warm up and you want to shed all your winter fluff in all areas! We have been reading aloud a ton and that is the sum of most of what I have to report this month.

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The boy and I have been in a fantastic night time reading routine and finished two bedtime books this month. We read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - that book just gets better with each read through! We also finished Akimbo and the Lions by Alexander McCall Smith. This was one of N1's favorite series when she was reading small chapter books and it was a winner with Ethan as well. Really, anything with animals is a winner with him. Right now he and I are about half way through Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling, another one that I am enjoying immensely more this time through. Maybe it's because I just came off a year of teaching grammar in our homeschool co-op but Kipling has such great plays on words, alliteration, and clever turns of phrases that it's just been a delight to read. And the stories themselves are fun, too.

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Our school time read-aloud for most of March was The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I remember seeing the old movie as a child (and was slightly traumatized by the shipwreck portion at the beginning of it!) but had never read the book. It was mentioned in Sally Clarkson's recent book Different as one that really resonated with her wild boy she was trying to tame ... off I went to the library for our own copy to hopefully inspire a couple of mine, likewise. :) This was was actually first published in 1941 (I also didn't realize it was so old) and tells the story of how Alec and the Black were the only survivors of a tragic shipwreck. They learn to depend on one another and Alec becomes the only person able to tame the savage horse. They make it back home and the book culminates in a fantastic horse race - I'll save the spoilers of who won, but I bet you can guess. :) This was a GREAT read-aloud and one I'll pull back out in a few years when Ethan is ready to read it on his own. I could see him getting lost in this whole series.

Personally, I read three books (I guess I did read a little more than I thought!) but one definitely took the a huge chunk of my month. Johnny Tremain was my pick for Amy @ Hope is the Word's Newbery challenge for March. I had never read this one (shock!). Set during the Revolutionary War against England, this is one I am considering revisiting next year when we work through American history.

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I also read The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill and Pekoe Most Poison by Laura Childs (both on Kindle). Pekoe Most Poison is a light mystery in Laura Childs' tea shop mystery series. A nice clean mystery series sometimes is hard to come by and this is perfect for someone who was a die-hard fan of Murder, She Wrote when she was in junior high, a-hem. :) The Girl Who Drank the Moon was the 2017 Newbery winner and I loved this one. So much that I went in search of more Kelly Barnhill books from my library. On its surface it is a simple tale of magic and love and protection, but through out the story we are unraveling the little lies that the main characters have told to "protect" each other. But were those lies really worth it for all the heartbreak and misdirection they caused? It was one that I picked up for a song on Kindle last year, and it was well worth the couple of dollars I spent on it.

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It's almost time to start thinking about SUMMER READING. :) (I'm eyeing my Mitford stack and wishing I could while away the hours rereading those favorites - there is new one coming in September and I am ready!) I'm hoping to start pulling together a summer to-read list for myself and thinking of what would make a good evening family read-aloud with our whole crew. Book lists are definitely some of my favorite things.